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State auditor to review Lexington real estate deal

Mayor asks for audit of nonprofit primary care clinic supported by tax dollars

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 14, 2013) – State Auditor Adam Edelen on Tuesday accepted Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s request to conduct a review of a real estate deal by HealthFirst, a nonprofit primary care clinic that is primarily supported by tax dollars.

HealthFirst has spent about $250,000 in public funds to develop a new public health clinic on Southland Drive. Questions have been raised about the deal after the clinic announced last month that it might abandon the project because it doesn’t have enough money to operate the facility.

Edelen said that while Lexington has no direct control over Health First, Gray acted appropriately in contacting the State Auditor’s Office.

“My office will conduct a limited review of the Southland Drive project to try to determine what went wrong in an effort to expand health services to low-income Lexingtonians,” Edelen said. “Questions about how a quarter of a million dollars were spent need to be answered.”

Edelen said auditors will focus solely on the project and the federal grant money that was spent to develop it.